Careers Advice Help – Are you on an endless treadmill?
Has your work life become a bit of a slog? Are you working harder than ever but feel unsure about where it is really getting you? Are you pulled between the urge to slow down and the need to be even more successful? Is it fun living in this frantic way? Are you interested in discovering another way to be successful? It will mean making some major changes that won’t seem logical at first but it will mean you can do less to achieve more. Let’s take a closer look now.
Beware of the treadmill at all costs
The treadmill is an illusion because you start off thinking your career is advancing but it isn’t really. The treadmill is highly addictive and it will encourage you to work even harder and harder. When you are working very hard, you start to operate in a foggy environment. It is tricky to see and think clearly in this environment and then it is even harder to perform your job with integrity. Integrity is about not compromising yourself in any way. Integrity is about respecting yourself and others at all costs. When you work so hard, your integrity won’t be as strong as it needs to be and you may find yourself being asked to ‘break rules’ or do ‘unethical things’. Is this the price you wish to pay for working too hard?
Working hard throws you off balance and creates feelings of exhaustion, frustration and unhappiness. In simple terms, you have learnt to put your ‘job’ first and you need to break this habit and learn to put yourself first if you wish to create balance in your life again. Listed below are a few top tips to get off the treadmill.
Focus on yourself. What needs aren’t you satisfying? Do you need mental or physical space or both? How can you make time to work ‘on your job’ rather than just ‘in it’? How can you help yourself? How can you reward and encourage yourself? What can you do to make yourself feel good?
Focus on others. To get off the treadmill you need to value other people and include them in your success. If you have been working too hard you wouldn’t have had time to pay attention to other people. To get the most from people and feel supported by them, you’ll need to give a lot more than you’ve been doing. When you were working too hard, people avoided getting in your way or just added to your problems. Start looking at treating people differently. In return, they will respond to you in a new way.Try acknowledging the people around you. Acknowledging another person is about telling them who they are and not telling them your opinion of them. For example, ‘You have a natural ability to engage your audience’ rather than ‘I liked your presentation’.Try developing people. Recognise what a person is good at and ask them to develop their talents further.Finally, coach people. Give feedback and help people to see how they can go further next time. Don’t forget to ask people what they think you could do to perform your role better!What relationships do you need to nurture? Do you need to spend time with your boss? Could you be supportive towards your colleagues?
Identify the triggers. What is triggering your work ethic? Do you feel that success is only worthwhile if you have suffered to achieve it? Are you addicted to the ‘buzz’ of achievement? Do you enjoy being in a ‘crisis’ mode?Try to identify your triggers and stop getting hooked by them. It is OK to work at your natural pace. It is acceptable to be calm in a crisis. It is healthy to fulfil your needs. Think about what you want and focus on satisfying yourself. Refuse to get hooked into the work dramas. The chase will take you away from what you want.
Stop having problems. Problems are time-consuming. You need to shift from having a problem and measuring your worth on your ability to solve them to creating systems to permanently eliminate them. What systems do you need to implement? Who can help you? Who do you need to work with on the solution?
Stop people bringing their problems to you. Train the people you work with to help themselves. Don’t invite people to dump their problems on you. Protect yourself and encourage people to think of a possible solution before even allowing them to discus the problem with you.
Focus on your integrity. Focus on performing your job with integrity. Respect yourself, your values and most of all respect other people. Tell the truth, follow the legal procedures, avoid office gossip and talk to people directly rather than behind their back. If you perform your job with integrity, your energy will remain high.
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Step off the treadmill and give yourself the job you are really looking for. Be confident in your talents and be strong to make the necessary changes. We can help promote you to your next employer. Please go to our CV Assessment page to discover how to get the job you want.